Dr. Ryan Shelton had dreams about being a doctor from a young age. His love for helping people inspired him. He believed in merging the traditional wisdom of healing with the merits of modern scientific research to create a form of functional medicine to address the needs of our present healthcare needs. Today he has created a regimen of natural treatments involving holistic and complementary medicine backed up by science-based research. While he holds several professional responsibilities, he is currently Zenith Labs’ Medical Research.
Dr. Shelton’s education at university focused uniquely on both biochemistry and philosophy. He went on to graduate with honors from medical school and complete residencies in both Germany and Peru. Dr Shelton specializes in using natural remedies that help heal patients’ bodies while also making them feel optimally well.
Chronic disease is on the rise and functional medical doctors like Dr. Ryan Shelton want to slow its progression by treating patients holistically. He achieves this through following his principles for each patient in his medical practice: First Do No Harm, Following the Guidance of Nature, Identify and Treat the Causes, Doctor as Teacher, Treat the Whole Person, Prevention. His first step is a comprehensive review of each patient’s Determinants of Health. Dr. Shelton uses natural therapies and traditional remedies to help balance his patient’s systems.
Dr. Ryan Shelton’s work with Zenith Labs has helped him attract patients interested in pursuing wellness rather than focusing solely on disease care. His successful medical practice complements this passion, as does the company he founded.
How did the idea for your career come to you?
I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a doctor. At around age 5, I started telling my friends and family that’s what I was going to do. So I went to college intent on that, until I discovered that I didn’t care much for the traditional views that most doctors are taught their job. I knew that I didn’t want only to treat people’s symptoms. I felt that improving people’s overall health was the way to go. I’ve modeled my entire career on this belief.
How did you turn that idea into a business?
It is really all centered on two of my principle of medicine: Doctor as Teacher and Identify and Treat the Causes. I have a degree in philosophy and though I love philosophic ideas from many eras and cultures, I pulled from the theories of consequentialist ethics as explained by philosophers like David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, and John Stuart Mill. Their philosophy was that the best things you could do were the things that brought the most good into the world. So I started my company to bring these natural remedies to the world, not just my little corner of the world. In our modern world of various new technologies, I can achieve this. Offering people extremely high quality products which I have researched and formulated helps me to bring success in people’s lives.
What steps did you take to establish your business?
I took a long hard look at what I wanted to accomplish. I spent hundreds of hours in medical research on natural ingredients. After that, I found my suppliers. I was part of developing an incredible team of communicators. Finally, a creative team helped to develop my ideas to an audience in need.
What tools did you use?
Libraries, books, journals. Oh yeah, then the internet was developed and I started using that as a research tool through hundreds of scientific databases. I have knowledgeable and trustworthy colleagues with whom I exchange ideas. I used the best tools any business person has, satisfied patients. Yes, I have people with technical know-how to create various websites and social media pages and have the best people I could find to work with me behind the scenes, but the best resource has always been learning from patients and how they respond to different types of therapies.
Do you struggle with work-life balance? How do you achieve it?
I think every busy professional struggles with work-life balance to some extent. My wife and two sons help to keep me grounded. The natural world is so beautiful, and the four of us travel quite often. I love to explore and find new experiences, even if they are in my backyard with my boys.
What did you wish you knew before starting your business?
You hear the phrase “Rome wasn’t Built In a Day” quite often when you’re trying to start something new, and somewhere subconsciously, I knew that what I was trying to accomplish would take time, but I don’t think I was logically prepared. Like everyone else, I wanted this thing to take off immediately, but that didn’t happen. I feel like understanding how to properly measure my successes and how the small successes lead toward the bigger goal.
How is the company culture and how do you promote productivity?
The culture I’ve worked hard to promote is a “customer first” philosophy. Everything we do is meant to drive customer satisfaction. I like to tell my employees that everyone they interact with is a customer. That includes the people spending their money on what the company is offering and the vendors and their fellow employees and bosses. Think about it. If you are working for an employer, that employer buys your time expecting quality work. They are your customers, just like employees are the customers of their employers. We all have expectations from those who depend on us, and meeting those expectations is of the utmost importance. This focus on satisfaction leads naturally to productivity because we’re working for something bigger than profit.
What style of business management do you apply in your company?
I have always felt that being creative and being a role model helps to inspire others. If I’m not setting the example of what a productive workday looks like, then I’m not leading very well. I’ve encouraged this right down the line: “Work harder than the person next to you and teamwork makes the dreamwork.”
What advice would you like to offer other entrepreneurs?
Follow your instincts and don’t compromise on your ideals. This doesn’t mean that you can never change your beliefs or processes. We have to adapt as we gain new insights, but you should never compromise on your beliefs just because you think it might make people like you more. If your goal is to provide the highest quality products and you start leaning on cheap trinkets because you make more money, your customers will know, and they won’t trust you anymore.
What important lesson did you take away from your experience in starting a new business?
Everything is a process. Nothing happens overnight. You have to have a plan and work it until it succeeds in any business. This may mean revising the plan, and your final destination might not be where you first thought it would be, but if you persevere, you can succeed.